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BDO research fields and methodologies

The SDT researchers are all rooted in Science and Technology Studies.The SDT research group takes a transdisciplinary approach, combining insights from engineering, ethnography, economics and organizational studies, in developing our understanding of the complex interplay between social, technological and environmental systems. Emphasis is given to how it is possible to break out of existing socio-technical “lock-ins”.  SDT’s research focuses on three overarching themes: transitions studies, design and innovation processes in companies and other organizations, transition studies within and across different sectors (nexus studies) and studies of the techno-institutional complexes associated with the development of new energy systems and cities.

Methodologically, SDT research is based primarily on qualitative studies, e.g. ethnographical studies, case studies and action research, including experimentation with different forms of intervention.

The SDT ambition is to create new knowledge about the processes involved in making sustainable transitions that may inspire and engage stakeholders outside the university in making sustainable transitions.

Sustainable Design and Transition specified

Sustainable Design and Transition is internationally recognized for its transdisciplinary approach to studies of design, technology development, consumer and industrial practices, and the governance of sustainable transitions. Grounded in science and technology studies, the research group advances understandings of how complex social-technical systems evolve and generates new insights regarding the processes and practices working towards sustainable development entails.


The research group focuses on several topics within the field of Sustainable Design and Transition:

  • Transition studies on how new actor constellations navigate in development processes related to change of distribution networks, climate adaption and urban infrastructure.
  • Sustainable product, service and system design.
  • Co-design processes and user participation in design and transitional processes related to e.g. welfare technologies.
  • Public participation and empowerment: Interventions as research methodology.
  • Public participation and staging of innovation and design processes within private and public cooperations.
  • Sustainable production, distribution and consumption.
  • Green macroeconomics and market foundations e.g. the field of energy systems.
  • Innovative remaking of market for renewable energy.

Ongoing research projects

SDT researchers are currently involved in the following externally financed research projects:

  • EcoMac: Ecological macroeconomics and sustainable transition – critical and constructive perspectives.
  • Water in Urban Areas 2014-2018: An innovation network for climate resilient and sustainable cities.
  • IPower: A research and innovation platform devoted to the development of an intelligent and flexible energy system that can handle fluctuating power generation.
  • Sustainable Production 3.0: [Bæredygtig production 3.0]*: Business transitions to a circular economy.
  • WIND2050: Multidisciplinary study on local acceptance and development of wind power projects.
  • TRANSIT: On social innovation and empowerment.
  • UserTec: On user practices, technologies and reducing residential energy consumption.
  • Future Land Management: Overview of land use in Denmark and showcase of conflicts and combination possibilities as well as forms of regulations that can influence the future field of research.
  • Control the Energy [Styr energien] *:On testing models for cooperation and business modelling to make reduction of energy consumption attractive for small scale businesses.
  • Salt Flush [Saltskyl]*: Full scale test to make local ground water resources possible for toilet flush use, including user test and evaluation of influence on water use.
  • Local implementation of energy strategies: On developing strategies and guidelines for concrete implementation of targets for increased energy efficiency in communities.
    Building Stronger Universities: A partnership programme on strengthening Kathmandu University’s capacity to carry out quality research and PhD education on major social, economic, and technical aspects of societal development in Nepal.
  • Public sector innovation and participation processes [Innovation og inddragelsesprocesser i den offentlige sektor]*: A cooperation project with the municipality of Copenhagen on how to cooperate with citizens, users and other stakeholders in the development of future cities.
  • I-REMB: Focuses on the entangled technological, regulatory and market challenges associated with the making markets for renewable energy system

*: Please note, this web-site is not in English.